Once more it’s Argentina vs Chile in the finals of the Copa America. The two teams locked horns in the clash of titans last summer in Santiago.
Chile clinched their maiden title on home-turf edging past Lionel Messi and company in the penalty shoot-out after the regulation time dished out a barren draw. La Albiceleste will be out for a sweet revenge at MetLife stadium, New York City on Sunday night.
The two teams met in the opening game of the Group D with Argentina beating Chile 2-1 without Messi.
Despite his phenomenal success at the club level, Lionel Messi has failed to lift a trophy with Argentina at the senior level. The bearded new-look Messi, with a philosophic appearance is determined to taste blood in the Copa Centenario 2016 finals.
The Barcelona superstar is perhaps in the best form of his international career in this tournament.
Chile’s Argentine coach Juan Antonio Pizzi is well aware of this fact. Pizzi wants his team to take control of the game from the beginning, and to take on a much fancied Argentine side without any fear.
“Our defining feature when it’s time to play these matches is based, above all, on our rhythm, our intensity, our aggressiveness that we want to deliver from the very start,” pointed out the Chilean boss, who took over from Copa winning coach Jorge Sampaoli earlier this year. “We’re able to achieve it most times. Other times, our opponent will use their strong points to counter our attempts.”
La Roja has only managed to beat Argentine seven times in 88 meetings, according to the ESPN. Argentina has won 58 times in this match-up.
Before the knock-out phase Messi pointed out that Argentina would improve as the tournament progresses. And the two-time world champions notched up four goals in each of their last two games against Venezuela and the hosts USA. But coach Gerardo Martino is not willing to take the reigning champions lightly.
“Chile, after their first match against us, evolved greatly,” he said. “They’ve played two knockout matches against very strong rivals in Mexico and Colombia, which are very good teams.”
Tata Martino’s has a serious injury concern. Angel Di Maria is doubtful with a groin injury.
The projected lineup and formation of both the teams are given below, as reported by the Leaguelane.com.
Argentina Predicted Line-up (4-3-3)
Romero – Rojo, Funes Mori, Otamendi, Mercado – Mascherano, Banega, Biglia – Lamela, Messi, Higuain.
Chile Predicted Line-up (4-3-3):
Bravo – Beausejour, Jara, Medel, Isla – Vidal, Diaz, Aranguiz – Fuenzalida, Sanchez, Vargas.
Argentina has won four out of the last five games between the two teams.
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